Mindful Changes - Achieving Mental Health through dance during and post COVID-19 Pandemic

Mindful Changes - Achieving Mental Health through dance during and post COVID-19 Pandemic

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 16 October 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: January 2021

To find out more about the project, please contact Rosa Cisneros.

Project details

Mindful Changes investigates how dance, particularly hip hop, can transform individuals who suffer with mental health and the role digital platforms have played in facilitating change. The studentship also aims to explore what digital platforms are used by dance practitioners to help support individuals with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project seeks to ask what are the core skills and knowledge required by dance practitioners and organisations to co-design and deliver suitable and effective programmes for individuals with mental health illness. With a focus on a hip hop dance company who has and is currently running classes for people with mental illness, the studentship will explore how the company is a lens through which to study the broader questions. Mindful Changes also aims to generate evidence that is underpinned by Communicative Methodology which is inclusive of all participants involved in the research.

Mindful Changes seeks out links with the hip hop dance community and local and national organisations that work directly with vulnerable and marginalised communities, as well as bring forward “lesser known” voices that are hidden because of mental illness. The collaborative nature of the studentship resides with the Street Factory hip hop dance company (Plymouth, UK). Street Factory have agreed to partner and host the candidate. The company and DoS have an extensive network that will be involved via supporting the data collection process. Community involvement through the participatory driven methodology and co-collaboration is central to the studentship.

Street Factory Logo


Applications are for full single studentships, which includes tuition fees and living expenses for a doctoral candidate over 3.5 years. Stipend rates are set by UKRI and will rise annually with a projected average increase of 1.25% per year. CU fees are also adjusted yearly in line with the rates set by UKRI.


Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

The candidate will benefit from having 2 supervisors in the areas of dance, mental health, hip hop and digital practices. Collaboration with Street Factory Dance company will aid in accessing materials for research. Additional support includes:

  • Academic writing guidance from supervisors and Centre for Academic Writing at Coventry University
  • Practice research: peer group led by PhD students; supervisor and staff expertise at C-DaRE
  • Reading groups, symposia and journals at CDaRE which candidates can contribute to and support
  • Ethical research support from C-DaRE ethics leads

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.


  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years.
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).


  • Background in performing arts, hip hop, and cultural studies
  • Interest in collaborative working and working with an arts organisation
  • Capacity to be in commuting distance from Coventry and/travel to Plymouth (UK)
  • Background in working with BAME community

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

The statement should include for example: project title, research questions, aims and objectives, literature review, relevance to the professional/academic field, methodology, work plan and expected outcomes.

Apply to Coventry University